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Smoking

Tuesday 1/4/22

I’ve recently listened to 100 or so radio episodes of Dragnet, and it’s a wonder to me that anyone in mid-twentieth century America lived past sixty given the huge and ceaseless push to sell cigarettes. I have so many cigarette commercials now committed to memory.


I am genuinely curious: could people not tell that smoking was bad for them? By this I mean, did they not notice that it affected how their lungs performed when exercising? I understand that exercise was not a regular thing. People didn't run, for instance, like they later would. But what about on stairs?


I used to smoke. I smoked for five years. The last day I smoked was the day my father died, on February 26, 2001. I knew it was something I had to give up, and that seemed as good a day as any. How did I stop? I simply stopped. I never smoked again. It was the same as with drinking: I simply stopped. There were no meetings, no patches, no sponsors, no gum, with either. The power of will. Mental discipline.


What I noticed, immediately, was that I could do basic tasks easier. I was not winded walking up a flight of stairs anymore. So wouldn't people in the "glory age" of smoking have known this as well? That they were winded all of the time? I was. I knew how bad it was for me. I could feel it.